Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sina and our house in Siem Reap

This is Sina in our house, where he stayed while he was up here. We took this photo using a camera I bought him in Singapore, a second-hand Canon Digital Ixus. Silly me, thinking he needs a camera to take photos when all this while he has a fancy Nokia camera phone!

I was wondering if I should post his photo because I am sure someone would try to poach him because it's hard to find good people in this country. In fact, Sina just told me some people who said they were from an NGO went to our Phnom Penh shop and told our shop assistant they wanted to poach the entire Bloom team over to their organisation. As a expat friend said, "You'd think as an NGO, they'd set a good example." I am less surprised, as it's not the first time other people have tried to bribe our staff. All I can say is just wait till I go to Phnom Penh and find out the details. You can bet I will not hesitate to name and shame this so-called NGO.

Anyway, I think it's ok if staff get approached as they are free agents. This was the case with me and my colleagues when I was in Singapore, and we didn't often leave because we realised that there is more to work than just money. What I do think is that the quality of Bloom bags must be pretty damn good, for people to want to poach our team. So I am quite pleased about this.

Anyway, here is Sina on our beautifully carved Cambodian sofa with one of our dogs, Nessie. The house has a lot of hardwood which is beautiful and would be very expensive where I come from. Our Khmer friends tell us that in the past, poor people stayed in wooden houses and rich people in cement or concrete ones. Now, it is the other way around because cement is cheaper than good wood.

The furniture is nice to look at but I've got to say, not very comfy. You can see a Bloom bag beside him and on the table is my favourite Bovril from Lucky Supermarket here in Siem Reap, Alan's favourite lime pickle which I got for him from Singapore's Little India and our potassium salt. All very sensible foods :)

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